Flying the Family Skies: Mindful Mother’s Day Holistic Tips
Are you familiar with the “Love is like an oxygen mask on a plane” simile? Although there are tons of online variations of this comparison, the basic premise is that we must first take the necessary time and effort to care for ourselves proactively and properly before we can help others to survive and thrive. As women, we typically place others way ahead of our own needs on the “ladder of life,” leaving our own wellness and sanity to sometimes silently suffer. Sound familiar? Well, this article will enable you to mindfully “fly high within the family and work balance skies” as far as self-care, happiness, and holistic wellness this Mother’s Day (and hopefully everyday)! While we unfortunately can’t transport everyone with free plane tickets today to the gorgeous Grand Caymans, we can encourage you to apply your own “self-care oxygen masks” first and proactively through our mindful Mother’s Day holistic tips. Fasten that seat belt, kick up your feet, and let’s journey into the world of mindfulness together!
“The Mother Of All: Mindful Motherhood Tips”
Because a mother’s love is unconditional, this article guides you to take time to nurture and love yourself this Mother’s Day, but without the clichéd Biebs’ song lyrics and shotgun weddings! Whether you’re a real or figurative mother, aunty, grandma, friend, stepmom, neighbor, or cousin to human children, fur babies, colleagues and clients at work, family members, or community members, let’s celebrate you this holiday and engage in easy, mindful mothering methods to increase our holistic health, happiness, and wellbeing.
In sum, we’ve devised the creative Mother acrostic to offer some simple strategies to remember and integrate self-care into your regular Mother’s Day mindfulness rituals. Ready to grab your own oxygen mask and set your Mother Goose on the loose to soar the holistic skies together, minus the cramped seats and mystery meals on those long-haul plane trips, of course?
Zoom into Some Zen: Meditation
· M is for Meditation. Need to chillax after a night of crying kiddos, insomnia over how to seal a deal at work, and family stress? Well, you don’t have to escape to an Italian villa silent retreat, invest in expensive fitness classes or posh personal trainers to mentor you, or buy specific lava lamps to effectively OM out for mental solace and better balance. Instead, strive to set aside 5-10 minutes a day to clear your mind.
Meditation has so many mind, body, and spirit benefits to calm you holistically. In fact, increasing evidence from Corthorn & Milicic (2016) in “Mindfulness and Parenting: A Correlational Study of Non-meditating Mothers of Preschool Children” in Journal of Child & Family Studies validates the effectiveness of mindfulness among all types of participants, but especially parents. In their study that compared mothers who were not practicing meditation with mindful mamacitas, the mindful parents exhibited a significant, positive correlation between mindfulness and mindful parenting, and a significant negative correlation among mindfulness and parental stress, depression, anxiety, and general stress (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10826-015-0319-z). Stop fretting about bills, your kiddos’ recurrent colds from daycares and schools, your laundry pile that’s as high as Mt. Rainier, decades of dirty dishes, and woeful work deadlines. Gift yourself a free, empowering ticket to mindfulness! Zoom into some Zen, proud parents!
Batch, Not Binge: Organize Meals
· O is for Organize family and individual meals ahead of time. This tip helps to avoid the desperate drive through scenes with greasy burgers, fat-laden fries or panicked pizza deliveries. When Taco Bell knows your order and name on autopilot, it’s definitely time for an oxygen mask and makeover to meal mindfulness through effective organization!
Why batch instead of binge? Studies from Weeks (2018) in Today’s Dietitian further assert that if your weeknights are jam-packed with work and family activities, batch cooking can make meals so much easier and enjoyable. To illustrate, one large pot of brown rice can go undercover for both a broccoli rice casserole one night and a power grain bowl the next (p. 65). It’s such a clever way to engage in more mindful eating and also to channel your inner James Bond skills as you slyly inject more health into your family’s mindful eating habits.
Meatless Monday, anyone? Dietitians also suggest using leftover grilled vegetables to play peekaboo inside tacos, wraps, burritos, or …enchiladas. Veggies can also be tossed into soups, or added to sandwiches. Our favorite food to batch cook is ground meat such as turkey or beef. Weeks (2018) also suggests how a large pan of ground turkey can be used for pasta sauce, tacos, wraps, or nachos” (p. 65). Don’t be chicken—use batch chicken (or tofu, turkey, pork, steak, etc.)!
Recharge Your Life With Digital and Tech Timeouts
· T is for Take a Tech Timeout. Usually, timeouts are parenting bummers, but this one is a win-win for holistic health and wellness. Ditch the digital devices for some real face time with the fam. Research from Zimmerle (2019) in the International Journal of Childbirth Education finds that smartphones and televisions have encouraged the term "technoference” to emerge. This concept describes how technology hinders relationships and delivers negative consequences for infants, children, tweens, and teens (p. 54). For example, toxic technologies can cause impaired emotional wellbeing, poor behaviors, delayed language development, and an increase in accidental injuries (p. 54). Ditch being a digitally distracted parent as by establishing healthy screen time habits and engaging in tech-free family activities like books, puzzles, cards, hikes, badminton, whiffle ball, arts and crafts, soccer, charades, and other old school classics. Stop scrolling for those Game of Thrones spoilers and any updates about the latest royal baby. Instead, give yourself and your loved ones the gift of real face time, not the app!
Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Exercise for Holistic Health
· E is for Exercise. Similar to the family meal planning tips and tech talk earlier, we all know that consistent exercise is also essential for mindful mothers and families. While it doesn’t mean American Ninja Warrior type rigorous training, it’s vital to formulate family ways to walk, bike, jog, skate, stroll, climb, dance, or jump mindfully and regularly! Dancing with the Stars, anyone?
Similarly, Archer (2019) from “Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids” from IDEA Fitness Journal also maintains how children were “75% less likely to be obese if their mothers indulged in healthy habits that included exercising regularly, eating healthy, drinking moderately and not smoking” (http://discovermagazine.com/2019/jan/making-sense-of-mommy-brain). Based on the terrific tag team connection between physical and mental health, ARCHER (2019) and other experts further recommend families to make a commitment to do 20 minutes of activity for every 60 minutes of TV time or during television time (http://discovermagazine.com/2019/jan/making-sense-of-mommy-brain). A lap or loop around the house or apartment via a family Congo line or train during commercials or some hula hoop holla can be fun, fab, and fit. Let’s “Shake, rattle, and roll!”
Reel in the Rest: Sleep
· R is for Reel in the Rest: You don’t need to be a dude or diva from The Deadliest Catch to reel in rest. Sleep is a powerful, pure, and preventive measure to avoid getting sick and to maintain holistic health. BURRELL (2019) in “Making Sense of Mommy Brain” from Discover asserts how sleep is imperative to address sleep-deprived parenting patterns, boosts immunity, alleviates postpartum-brain-fog, balances hormones, sustains concentration, and enables solid planning and decision making. Start counting those sheep and reeling in the sleep!
Other parental perks associated with sweet, slumbering serenades from The Sandman or The Sandwoman include tissue healing, pain modulation, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, improved learning, and other benefits (https://northernedgept.com/wp-content/uploads/PTinMotionOct2018-Sleep.pdf). Remember that classic Eurythmics jam?
Bottom Line: Freebird
We hope you’re aware of some practical ways to “Fly the Family Skies” to experience a more mindful Mother’s Day with our holistic tips, resources, and suggestions as mentioned in the mindful Mother acrostic. Don’t freefall! Make Lynyrd Skynyrd proud and “Freebird” over work/life/family balancing acts. Sport that oxygen mask, breathe deeply, and proactively plan for a mindful trip into wellness, happiness, health, and empowerment. Your personal ticket awaits you!
ARCHER, S. (2019). Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids. IDEA Fitness Journal, 16(1), 9.
Corthorn, C., & Milicic, N. (2016). Mindfulness and Parenting: A Correlational Study of Non-meditating Mothers of Preschool Children. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 25(5), 1672–1683. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10826-015-0319-z
BURRELL, T. (2019). Making Sense of Mommy Brain. Discover, 40(1), 22–26. Retrieved from http://discovermagazine.com/2019/jan/making-sense-of-mommy-brain
RIES, E. (2018). Promoting Sleep: Not a Leap. PT in Motion, 10(9), 13–22. Retrieved from https://northernedgept.com/wp-content/uploads/PTinMotionOct2018-Sleep.pdf
Weeks, E. (2018). Batch Cooking for Better Home Meals. Today’s Dietitian, 20(9), 65–66.
Zimmerle, J. C. (2019). Limiting Technoference: Healthy Screen Time Habits for New Parents. International Journal of Childbirth Education, 34(2), 54–59.